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0.4 over (0 Run)
A fullish outswinger, outside off, Shikhar lets it be.
0.3 over (1 Run)
Full and swinging into middle and leg, glanced to mid on for a single. First runs on the board for Delhi and Stoinis is up and running as well.
0.2 over (0 Run)
Another inswinger, this time on the pads, flicked to short mid-wicket.
0.1 over (0 Run)
And some swing straightaway. Full and swinging into middle, blocked to the off side.
All set to begin then, the Zayed stadium is looking wonderful. The on-field umpires, S Ravi and Paul Reiffel, are making their way to the crease first. Following them are the Hyderabad players, through the fireworks-studded red carpet. Delhi’s openers are Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis. Yes, the latter has opened in the Big Bash and is no stranger to opening the batting. Sandeep Sharma to begin with the ball for Hyderabad. HERE WE GO…
Hyderabad (Unchanged Playing XI) – David Warner (C), Shreevats Goswami (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan.
Delhi (Playing XI) – Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shimron Hetmyer (IN PLACE OF DANIEL SAMS), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Dubey (IN PLACE OF PRITHVI SHAW), Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
David Warner, Hyderabad’s captain, says they would have bowled first, had they won the toss. Is therefore happy with the outcome, on the toss. States that the team has backed themselves. Each individual knows their responsibilities well and backs themselves to their hilt. Says that Wriddhiman is still not fit and the team is unchanged from the last game.
Shreyas Iyer, Delhi’s captain, says they had two outings against Hyderabad and they feel it is better to bat first and it looks a good wicket so they will want to bat first. States they need to do their homework right and hopes to play well in this game. Credits Rashid for the way he has bowled and says he will be a challenge today. Informs that Dube and Hetmyer come in. States it is all about doing the basics right.
TOSS – The two captains are out in the middle for the all-important toss. The team winning should bowl first but let’s see. The match referee gives the coin some air. It comes down in Delhi’s favour. THEY WILL BAT FIRST!
Pitch Report – Sunil Gavaskar is presenting the Pitch Report. There is a little bit of grass and some turn was visible the other day. It is a good pitch, there is something in it for the bowlers. The bowlers can bend their backs and get the odd ball to bounce. A very well-balanced pitch, neither in favour of the batsmen nor in favour of the bowlers.
Hyderabad have been absolutely clinical in the last few games, including in the Eliminator. Yes, they did have to slog it out in the latter, but never were they in a position where the match had slipped out of their hands. Their batting and bowling is complementing each other well and that is what one requires when playing in the decider phases. Can they marshall their troops and surmount the Delhi challenge? We’ll find out as the toss gets underway shortly…
Coming to Delhi first, they received a sound hammering at the hands of Mumbai in Qualifier 1, in all the departments. To shake that off would be very difficult but given the stage of play they are in, Iyer’s men would have quickly overcome that. Their singular focus now would be to defeat Hyderabad and storm into the finals. After that, they would be looking to pay Mumbai a heavy price for the continued defeats to them this season.
Delhi or Hyderabad? Earlier, it was Hyderabad or Bangalore in the Eliminator. But with the former coming good towards the end, sealing the other spot for Qualifier 2, against Delhi, the first question beckons us now. Though not an eliminator in the formal sense, given that the winner goes through to face Mumbai in the finals, both teams would be looking at this match as so.
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